The Secret To The Perfect Martini, According To Robert Irvine - Exclusive

Anyone else need a drink right about now? If so, you can't go wrong with the ever-sophisticated martini. According to Food52, the martini was born in the mid-1800s, when a gold miner struck — well, gold — and asked for a celebratory drink at his local bar. The bar was out of champagne, so what was the next best option, according to the bartender? A martini, of course. A traditional martini is made with gin, vermouth, and topped with a lemon peel or olive.

The Spruce Eats defines vermouth as a fortified wine that comes in two styles: white and dry, or sweet and red. Dry vermouth is the recommended ingredient for a martini, in order to enhance the flavor of the vodka. But celebrity chef Robert Irvine claims there is another "ingredient" your martini is missing. During an exclusive interview with Tasting Table at the Sun Wine and Food Fest, the "Restaurant: Impossible" host explained that the biggest secret to the perfect martini is the person behind the bar. "It's a bartender that's the key," Irvine said.

The bartender makes the drinks shine

A martini plus a good bartender equals a high-end cocktail. "You always have to start with great liquor, but each bartender has a little twist," Robert Irvine told Tasting Table. "Look, the liquor is important, but when you put olives and you put everything else in there, it changes the liquor profile." A good bartender knows how to balance those flavors, whether you're garnishing with olives, a lemon twist, cocktail onions, or any less conventional additions to your drink.

Besides adding their own personal flair to your cocktail, the bartender may be able to suggest a martini more to your liking if you're not sold on the traditional one. Among its popular variations are lemon drop martinis, dirty martinis (if you're craving some extra olive flavor), or Vesper martinis (inspired by James Bond). Good bartenders will also know which high-quality liquors to choose for your drink — and you may even see them use one of Irvine's.

The Food Network star created his own spirits brand in 2022 that offers the chef's own line of gin and vodka. According to the company's website, the television personality's gin is perfect for cocktails due to its hybrid distillation process. The alcohol is partly distilled in a pot, while the remaining liquid is vapor infused. We're assuming a good mixologist would know how that affects the flavor — so if your trustworthy bartender grabs some while making your much-needed end-of-week martini, get ready for a stellar drink.

New episodes of "Restaurant: Impossible" air Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on Food Network. Keep up with Robert Irvine's latest projects on his Instagram page. For more information about the Sun Wine and Food Fest, visit Mohegan Sun's website.